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Annual Survey of Employee Share Ownership in Europe in 2015

March 2, 2016

For immediate release:

Annual Survey of Employee Share Ownership in Europe in 2015

The European Federation of Employee Share Ownership (EFES), the voice of employee share ownership in Europe, will release the new "Annual Economic Survey of Employee Share Ownership in European Countries" on March 3.
Assets held by the 8 million employee shareholders in Europe in 2015 were never so high before: 370 billion Euro and more than 3% of the capital of all large European companies in 2015. This is more than 45.000 € per person.
Marc Mathieu, Secretary General of the EFES said: "We see that even through the European crisis, employee share ownership is a formidable engine to share in results and growth, - assets per person have more than doubled since 2009."
However, the imbalance has continued to widen among European countries.
Some European countries have chosen for stronger incentive policies, promoting employee share ownership and long term savings as an investment for the future. The UK, Austria or Spain have to be mentioned in this way. The UK and Austria chose to double the fiscal incentives for employee share ownership, considering it is a key element of recovery, and Spain introduced a new law for employee-owned and participative companies.
Instead of that, some other countries have chosen to reduce public spending and to support household consumption, while incentives for long term savings and for employee share ownership were sacrificed (France, Greece, The Netherlands, Denmark). Meanwhile, Germany maintained its reluctance to promote employee share ownership, and in Italy the law about workers’ participation is still sleeping.
The number of employee shareholders in Europe stabilized in 2015. However, the decrease was significant in continental Europe since 2011 (-10% and -700.000 persons) while at the same time, the number increased by 10% in the UK (+200.000 persons).
While assets held by European employees in shares of their company increased spectacularly since 2009, these growing assets are spread over a declining number of employees in continental Europe. Austerity and lower incentives have thus a clear consequence in continental Europe: The democratization of employee share ownership regresses, leading to wealth concentration and higher inequalities.
The new Annual Survey is based on the EFES' unique database of employee share ownership, gathering all official information published by European companies. It will be available on www.efesonline.org and can be downloaded here.

ENDS

Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Marc Mathieu on +32 (0)476 322 421 or e-mail: efes@efesonline.org

The European Federation of Employee Share Ownership (EFES) is an international not for profit organization.
EFES is the voice of employee share ownership in Europe. It was established in 1998 as the umbrella organisation of employee owners, companies and all persons, trade unions, experts, researchers, institutions looking to promote the development of employee share ownership and participation in Europe.

Marc Mathieu
Secretary General
EFES - European Federation of Employee Share Ownership
Avenue Voltaire 135, B-1030 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0)2 242 64 30 - Fax: +32 (0)2 808 30 33
E-mail: efes@efesonline.org
Web site: www.efesonline.org

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